How to look after your skin pre and post breast surgery
by Douglas McGeorge – co-founder of Science of Skin and one of the UK’s leading cosmetic surgeons.
As a plastic surgeon, who specialises in breast implantation surgery, I am often asked by patients how they should look after themselves before their operation.
One of the things I always recommend is to make sure your skin is in good condition and well moisturised, as from a surgical point of view dry skin can be a nuisance.
Quality moisturisers are something, which are to be recommended for patients and, in the Science of Skin stable we have a particularly good moisturiser, called Stretch Mark Defence. Although it is primarily designed for the prevention of stretch marks, it is such a good moisturiser that it can be used anywhere on the body. For all patients that are concerned about the quality of their skin, and the hydration of their skin, the use of Stretch Mark Defence is a very good starting point.
When patients leave hospital, they have got tapes on their wounds and it is all about allowing things to settle down and allow the swelling to subside. I normally see people for follow up 12 days later and that’s the time we take the tapes off the wounds and they are usually healing nicely. That’s the stage I give them treatment to make sure they can get the best quality scar. Every patient, in fact, is given a sachet of our Solution for Scars cream and instructed how to use it on their scars.
For breast cancer patients
There are a number of ways of treating people when you are doing reconstruction surgery, whether you bring in some of their own tissue or whether you use implants. Very often it involves stretching up the tissue they have already.
Certainly, if you are doing a secondary reconstruction after a mastectomy, you need to stretch up the tissues to recreate the breast mound which used to be there. So you are recreating volume on the inside and trying to increase the area of skin on the outside.
When doing this it is particularly useful to the surgeon if the skin is well hydrated as, in some cases, this type of surgery can cause stretch marks.
To minimise the risk of stretch marks products like our Stretch Mark Defence and Solution for Stretch Marks come really into their own.
Stretch Mark Defence is used pre-surgery to try to minimise the risk of stretch marks and, obviously, if anybody does develop a stretch mark then Solution for Stretch Marks is recommended to get them to settle down as quickly as possible.
Step-by-step guide to skincare pre and post breast surgery
1. Pre-surgery, use Stretch Mark Defence, to hydrate and moisturise the skin around your breasts.
2. Avoid using anything while your skin is healing and while your wounds are taped up. Your tapes will usually be removed after about 12 days but always follow the advice of your surgeon during this time.
3. Once the tapes have been removed and your wound is closed start using Solution for Scars. Massage into the scar fora minute, three times every day for optimum effect.